The centerpiece of the Philipsburg is the courthouse on Watney Square, at the heart of the Front Street shopping area. The historic wooden building is bright white with a bell tower that sports a clock and small spire with a pineapple at the top, which symbolizes welcome. It was originally built in 1793 as the home of the town’s founder, Commander John Philips, and has since been used as jail, post office and fire station. Today the building is a working courthouse, but if you’re interested to learn more about the town’s history, you can walk five minutes east down Front Street to visit the St. Maarten Museum.
The courthouse sits right at the center of the small town, and is easily spotted as you’re passing through. From the cruise ship dock it’s a 10-minute walk to the courthouse, and if you're driving into town, there's a parking lot about a block from the courthouse.